Computer Crime Research Center


Macs: A growing danger of computer virus

Date: April 22, 2006
By: Dan Goodin

Benjamin Daines was browsing the Web when he clicked on a series of links promising to deliver pictures of an unreleased update to a computer operating system.

Instead, a window opened on his screen and showed strange commands being run, as if the computer was under the control of someone - or something - else.

Daines was the victim of a computer virus.

Such headaches are hardly unusual for computer users that run Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system. Daines, however, was using a Mac - a computer often touted as being more secure and immune to such risks.

He and at least one other person who clicked on the links were infected by what security experts call the first ever virus for OS X, the operating system that has shipped with every Mac sold since 2001.

After surviving unscathed from the onslaught of viruses and other computer malware unleashed on the Internet over the past decade, Mac aficionados can no longer take for granted they are immune to such attacks, security experts said.

"It just shows people that no matter what kind of computer you use you are still open to some level of attack," said Daines, a 29-year-old British chemical engineer. He's one of those who considered Macs invulnerable to such attacks.
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